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Chapter 7: Chapter Seven
A/N: Ok, so this is Chapter Seven of…well, actually I have no idea how long this is going to be. I know that some of the theories I have introduced are so far out there (Ollivander), but honestly, as these things come to me, I write them. So, stick with me, even if it’s just to laugh at my outlandish speculations. Read on.
The group trudged down the stairs one after the other, each looking curiously into the foyer.
“That was one of the twins,” Ginny said knowledgably, “but the question is…”
she looked around at the now empty entry hall and turned, confused, back to Harry, Ron and Hermione,
“Where did he go?”
Suddenly and without warning, the red-headed form of Fred Weasley came dashing back to the hall and grabbed Ginny up in a sweeping hug, twirling her small bady in the air before placing her back on the ground. His face was lit from within, and Hermione was laughing at Ginny’s shell-shocked expression.
“Well…what’s going on, Fred?” Hermione said with an air of nonchalance.
Fred let out another great whoop and Mrs. Weasley came into the entrance hall.
“Honestly, Fred, you come into this house in an absolute frenzy, dash into the kitchen and tell me that you have news, then you run back out again.”
“Sorry, Mum, I think our voices compelled him to come in here and assault Ginny,” Ron said with a grin.
“Yeah, Fred, what’d you do that for?” Ginny asked, looking dazed.
“Because…I’m getting married!!!”
The smile on Fred’s face stretched so widely that Harry wondered whether it would somehow permanently distort Fred’s expression.
Mrs. Weasley had tears in her eyes as she pulled her son to her.
“Congratulations, Fred!” Hermione said, heartfeltly.
“Yeah, well done, Fred!” Ginny joined in, now looking much more excited and less confused by Fred’s strange behavior.
“Angelina’s great, Fred,” Harry threw in his input.
“It is Angelina, right?” Ron queried.
Fred pulled away from his smiling, sobbing mother and frowned at Ron,
“Of course it is, you great prat. Who else?”
Ron gave a non-commital shrug and said,
“Just making sure.”
Mrs. Weasley wiped her eyes on the edge of her sleeve and managed to say,
“Come on, you lot, this is no place to celebrate good news!”
And the Weasleys, Harry, and Hermione headed into the kitchen to prepare celebratory dinner.
Dinner that night was a jubilant affair. The whole family, save Charlie and Percy, showed up to celebrate Fred and Angelina’s upcoming wedding. There were arguments as to whether or not there would be a joint wedding when Brooke and Angelina stated quite forcefully that the twins should do something this important together.
“I mean, really, George, you can’t decide whether or not to scratch your head without Fred’s input, so how can you expect to have a wedding without your brother?” Brooke inquired.
“Yeah, you lot never do anything on your own,” Angelina threw in, “It was like having one Beater in two bodies on my Quidditch team. That worked really well for us, so this joint wedding should work too.”
Brooke and Angelina shared a look and a smile that sealed the deal. Fred and George looked thrilled,
“You picked a good one there, mate,” George said nodding at Angelina.
Fred was making eyes at Brooke, raising his eyebrows suggestively.
“Leave us would you, you lot? Brooke and I need to get to know each other,” Fred said slipping a sly grin at Brooke.
George slipped a possessive arm around Brooke and they both laughed. Angelina slapped Fred upside the head.
“Honestly! Why on Earth I agreed to marry you, I’ll never know!” Angelina said, but there was laughter in her tone.
“Too late to back out now! I asked, you said yes, that’s a binding agreement.”
The whole table laughed along with the happy new betrothed. All in all, it was a wonderful night, but Harry was exhausted by the time he, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione began the climb up to bed. The usual goodnight kisses were exchanged and Harry lay down in bed that night feeling as though the memory he’d relived today had done so much more good than he could ever have thought. He didn’t have any nightmares that night, as he had for months after the actual occurrence. Instead, he dreamed of Ginny in a white dress and the scent of flowers drifting through the dream cast a sense of peace and well-being over his sleeping mind, though he did not remember the dream come morning.
The weeks leading up to the Apparition Test passed uneventfully. Days were spent in the orchard, playing quidditch, helping Mrs. Weasley around the house, and spending time alone with Ginny while Ron and Hermione had some time to themselves as well. Harry had once worried about whether or not having his two best friends dating would ruin the dynamic of their routines, but it had not. In fact, since they had begun dating, Harry had found their company much more enjoyable. When they fought, Harry knew they would make up; no more fights that led to terms of silence for long periods of time.
The Apparition classes went well enough. Harry and Ron gradually got back into the routine, and they recalled how to Apparate properly. There were no more major incidents of splinching, and so, when Harry and Ron awoke and dressed for the exam that morning in August, they did so without much in the way of nerves.
Mrs. Weasley insisted that they,
“Cannot expect to Apparate properly on an empty stomach.”
So, Ron and Harry downed a bit of toast and juice and Mr. Weasley accompanied them to the Ministry after they were wished good luck by Mrs. Weasley, Hermione, and Ginny.
Ginny gave Harry a hug, and they heard Hermione whisper in Ron’s ear,
“I know sometimes I tell you otherwise, but I do actually like your head quite a bit, and I’ve no desire to see you join the Headless Hunt, so do be careful.” She finished with a kiss on his cheek, and Ron chuckled,
“Lot of faith you have in me, eh Hermione?”
“Oh, go on then!” She said in a falsey angry tone.
Ron returned the kiss, though this was a quick peck on the lips.
“I know, you only nag because you care.”
“I do NOT nag, Ron!” Hermione said shrilly.
“Right, well, we’ve got to be going.” Ron turned on his heel and followed after Mr. Weasley into the fire.
“You know what? I don’t care if you lose your head, Ron! Then at least you wouldn’t be able to think! Oh, wait a minute, you don’t think now, and your head’s attached to your shoulders as it is!”
Ron smiled and blew her a kiss as he vanished in the green flames. Harry kissed Ginny and said,
“Well, I’m off as well. We should be back soon.”
“Oh, please, take your time,” Hermione spat and walked fro the room calling back, “Oh, but good luck to you, Harry, of course.”
“They make me laugh,” Ginny said, “I really do enjoy their fights.”
“Especially since they only last for as long as one can hold out not being with the other.”
“Tricky little game isn’t it? Love, I mean.” Ginny said thoughtfully.
“Well, I’m rather enjoying it, but right now, I have to go or your dad and Ron will wonder what grate I’ve got lost at this time.”
Harry waved and stepped into the warm, green fire. He said very clearly,
“Ministry of Magic.”
And the swirling began. Harry had gotten a bit more used to Floo travel by now, but he still wasn’t fond of it.
When he stepped from the grate, he saw a very worried Mr. Weasley, and Ron assuring his father that Harry was fine. They both caught sight of Harry and moved towards him.
“Oh, good, Harry, I was hoping you hadn’t gotten out at the wrong grate.”
“No, I’m fine, Mr. Weasley,” Harry said, “Let’s do this, then, shall we?”
With this, he, Ron, and Mr. Weasley headed to the floor where the testing was to take place. For the sake of everything he, Ron, and Hermione had planned this year, he hoped that he and Ron passed today.
CRACK! CRACK! Two identical whip-like noise came one after the other into the parlor where Ginny was stacking cards and Hermione was reading a book.
They both jumped. Ginny’s cards shook, then fell, but she ducked for cover and the explosion that followed didn’t harm her in any way. Hermione’s book clanked to the floor at the same time as Ginny’s cards exploded. So, the noise from the room was immense, but when the girls emerged from their hiding spots, Hermione exclaimed weakly,
“So, you’ve passed, then?”
Harry and Ron stood beaming on the opposite side of the room near the window.
“Yep!” Ron said, “Not one eyebrow left behind, thank you very much!”
“Yeah, and I didn’t land anywhere near Australia.”
“Well, that’s all very well, and I’m proud of you to be sure, but did you have to come in unannounced that way?” Ginny inquired angrily.
Harry looked sheepishly at her,
“Sorry, we were just really excited.”
Just then Mrs. Weasley came tearing into the room.
“What happened? Are you all ok? Oh…it’s you two then. You passed, I assume?”
Mrs. Weasley stored the wand that she had had raised, and looked towards Harry and Ron.
“Yeah, Mum, we passed.”
“Good, where’s your father?”
“He had to finish up work but he says to expect him for dinner,” Ron informed her.
Mrs. Weasley nodded,
“It’s just us and your father for dinner tonight. Everyone else had things to do.”
“Thanks, Mrs. Weasley,” Hermione said.
“Be careful, you two, and I don’t want you Apparating all of the time just because you can.”
“Yes, Mrs. Weasley.”
And she left them alone.
Harry and Ron surveyed the scattered cards, ash, and books lying about.
“See what you’ve done?” Hermione said in her best impression of McGonagall.
Ron grinned winningly at her and said,
“Sorry about that. We’ll clean it up.”
“What do you mean ‘we’? I didn’t volunteer!” Harry intoned.
“But, you will help, won’t you, Harry. I mean, Ron didn’t Apparate here by himself.” Ginny added with the tone that Harry recognized at once as the “do it or else” tone.
“Right, of course I will,” he mumbled.
Hermione and Ginny stood up and stretched languishly.
“We’re going up to Ginny’s room, if you need us,” Hermione said sweetly and the two girls glided from the room.
Ron looked at Harry and said,
“Do you ever feel like they have us entirely in their control?”
“Mate, they do have us entirely in their control,” Harry informed Ron in a dull tone.
“Right, that’s what I thought. Any chance that we can change that?” Ron asked hopefully.
Harry gave a humorless laugh,
“No. Absolutely not. This is our lot in life, we have to deal with it.”
Ron gave Harry a look that said very clearly that, though he didn’t particularly like the lack of power he held, he would never give Hermione up. Harry felt the same way, and they set to their work.
“What’re the odds that we can come up with a way to gain the upper hand?” Ron inquired.
“Give it up, man,” Harry said laughingly, “This is the way life is.”
A/N: Ok, short and pointless, but I needed to fit the test in, and I didn’t really want to go past it because I needed a point to start from next chapter, and this chapter sort of fell into my lap. So, have a heart and review! I had someone apologize to me for giving a long review last chapter; I encourage the long reviews! Really!